Selecting the right hood for you
It is important that you get the right hood to suit you, both that it fits snugly and comfortably, and is fit for the environment you will be using it in. This means buying a correct thickness to suit the temperature, you will need a hood in any conditions below 20 degrees Celsius. Above that temperature a hood is optional but below that temperature, the colder it is, the thicker the hood you will want. Remember that some of the best dive sites are in cold waters, and cold water does not ruin a dive but being cold does!
Do you own a wet suit or dry suit?
|Temperature of Dive
|30°C / 85°F and above
| 21°C - 27°C / 70°F - 80°F
||1mm- 3mm Hood
|16°C - 21°C / 60°F - 70°F
|10°C - 16°C / 50°F - 60°F
In wet suits, the bib creates a snug fit between your neck and the jacket and minimizes water circulation. In dry suits, the bib insulated the neck seal to eliminate a cold spot. Dry suits with insulated neck seals use non-bibbed hoods.
Some divers use a hooded vest, which gives you all the benefits of a bibbed hood, plus extra insulation for your entire torso.
Divers who live in cooler climates may not select a separate hood at all, but may instead choose an exposure suit which integrates the hood, e.g. it is permanently attached. You can find both wet suits and dry suits with this configuration.
Trying on a hood
It is important to make sure your hood fits snuggly but not tight, so that it is effective without being uncomfortable. A hood that is too tight can constrict blood flow through the neck, which can cause light headedness and, if you keep the hood on, fainting and unconsciousness. A hood this tight will be uncomfortable so do not try to endure it and wear it anyway, purchase your hood based on a comfort and fit.
Dive beanies are a great alternative to dive hoods if you don't want to feel too constricted in the water. They wear like regular beanie hats and like hoods are available in a range of thicknesses to suit different temperatures. Remember, however, that these will only be suitable in temperatures above 21 degrees Celsius otherwise you may feel the cold on your face and neck.